Labour threatens strike over delay of new minimum wage

Labour threatens strike over delay of new minimum wageThe Trade Union Congress (TUC) has hinted that non-implementation of the N30, 000 new minimum wage for almost three months after signing it into law may soon force organised labour to embark on industrial action.

It argued that the Federal Government appears not to be committed to implementing the new minimum wage it approved going by the way its representatives in the committee set up to negotiate the adjustment arising from the new minimum wage was handling the negotiations.

President of TUC, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, who stated this at the weekend in Lagos, said the entire process lacked transparency.

According to him, organised labour has been considerate enough by lowering its initial demand of increasing salaries of Grade Level (GL) 07 officers to 17 by 66.66 per cent as the rate at which the minimum wage was increased, yet government is only offering 9.5 per cent for levels 07-14 officers and 5 per cent for GL 15-17.

He said the consequential adjustment, which was supposed to be negotiated openly in the spirit of collective bargaining, has not also been done.

He said: “As it stands now, we may be forced to go to the trenches. We remain solidly behind the leadership of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council handling the negotiation on behalf of labour.”

He urged the Federal Government to act fast and direct its representatives to return to the negotiating table with a more realistic mandate that would be beneficial to workers who have waited for almost a decade to get a salary increase.

At the meeting, the new TUC president, who envisioned a better, stronger and virile labour organisation, disclosed that his administration would vigorously ratify the 13 motions agreed at TUC’s 11th Triennial Delegates Conference in Abuja recently.

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